Call for Nominations: 2023-2025 AFSA Governing Board
Volunteering for service on the AFSA Governing Board means that you can represent your colleagues and help ensure that the voice of the Foreign Service is heard on the Hill and around the country. You will participate in the management and modernization of a multimillion-dollar organization with a large staff and real impact in Washington, including securing Congressional funding for the Foreign Service, working to tell the story of diplomacy to our fellow Americans and ensuring that all members of the Foreign Service are treated with fairness.
If this sounds like something you would be proud to do, please consider joining the next AFSA leadership team by running for a position on the 2023-2025 AFSA Governing Board. The Committee on Elections encourages members of all backgrounds to consider running; diversity is a core strength of any governing body.
Election of AFSA Officers and Constituency Representatives. This election call, issued in accordance with Article VII(2)(a) of the AFSA bylaws, constitutes a formal notice to all AFSA members of the opportunity to participate in the nomination and election of a new Governing Board.
Call for Nominations
Available Positions. The following positions will be filled in this election:
||State Department Representatives (5)
||Full-time State Dept Representative (1)
||USAID Representative (1)
|Vice President for State
||USAGM Representative (1)
|Vice President for USAID
||APHIS Representative (1)
|Vice President for FCS
||Retired Member Representatives (2)
|Vice President for FAS
||Alternative FCS Representative (1)
|Vice President for Retirees
||Alternative FAS Representative (1)
These positions have two-year terms beginning July 15, 2023. AFSA bylaws require that Governing Board members participate via in-person attendance at regularly scheduled meetings of the board within 60 days of taking office on July 15 or appointment to office thereafter, and throughout their term in office.
The president and State, USAID, FCS and FAS vice presidents, and one of the six State Department Representatives are full-time positions detailed to AFSA. These employees are assigned over complement and are eligible for time-in-class extensions. The active-duty representative positions are not full time, but they are given a reasonable amount of official time to attend meetings regarding labor management issues. Governing Board members are required to attend monthly lunchtime board meetings and may volunteer to serve on additional committees. To see position descriptions for this new position and the officer positions, please visit www.afsa.org/board.
New Full-Time State Representative
Please note that the full-time State Representative position is a new position that has been approved by the Department on a two-year pilot basis. The incumbent will focus primarily on the unique issues impacting Foreign Service Specialists and will work closely with the Policy Coordination/Labor Management office within GTM (GTM/PC/LM) and the Specialist Advocate in the Office of the Under Secretary for Management.
Nominating Candidates. Any AFSA regular member in good standing (i.e., a member whose dues are automatically deducted or who has paid dues as of February 15, 2023) may nominate any person (including himself or herself) for any of the available positions for which the nominee is eligible. The following requirements apply to nominations:
- No member may nominate more than one person for each officer position, or more than the number of representatives established for each constituency. No member’s name may appear on the ballot for more than one position.
- All nominations must be submitted in writing by letter or email. To be valid, they must, without exception, be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 15, 2023. All written nominations must be addressed to the AFSA Committee on Elections, 2101 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20037. Email nominations shall be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nominations may be submitted individually or in slates. To qualify as a slate, a proposed slate must have a minimum of four candidates from at least two constituencies. Slate designations will be noted on the ballot.
Qualifications for Governing Board Membership. Individuals meeting the following qualifications are eligible for nomination to one of the available positions:
- The individual must be an AFSA regular member in good standing by February 15, 2023 and remain in good standing through the election process and, if elected, for his or her term of office.
- The individual must not have a conflict of interest as defined in Section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act. Please see the “Conflicts of Interest” section below for more information.
- Active-duty members presenting themselves as candidate for president or constituency vice president must hold an active security clearance.
Conflicts of Interest. Section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act restricts employees serving in certain positions within their agencies from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board. Management officials and confidential employees, as well as those in positions that may raise or appear to raise a conflict of interest (as defined below) when the new Governing Board takes office on July 15, may not participate in Governing Board discussion, deliberations or decisions relating to labor-management issues. They may participate in AFSA Board activities that do not relate to labor-management issues. The Foreign Service Act also imposes a two-year pre- and post-AFSA “cooling off” period on employees who occupied or will occupy positions within their agency that involve labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs of a foreign affairs agency.
a. Section 1017(e) of the Act, 22 USC 4117(e) states: “Participation in labor organizations restricted. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter (A) participation in the management of a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining or acting as a representative of a labor organization for such purposes is prohibited under this subchapter (i) on the part of any management official or confidential employee; (ii) on the part of any individual who has served as a management official or confidential employee during the preceding two years; or (iii) on the part of any other employee if the participation or activity would result in a conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest or would otherwise be incompatible with law or with the official functions of such employee; and (B) service as a management official or confidential employee is prohibited on the part of any individual having participated in the management of a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining or having acted as a representative of a labor organization during the preceding two years. (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(A)(ii) and paragraph (1)(B), the term “management official” does not include (A) any chief of mission; (B) any principal officer or deputy principal officer; (C) any administrative or personnel officer abroad; or (D) any individual described in section 4102(12)(B), (C), or (D) of this title who is not involved in the administration of this subchapter or in the formulation of the personnel policies and programs of the Department.”
b. Section 1002 (12), 22 USC 4102(12) of the Act defines a management official as “an individual who: is a chief of mission or principal officer; occupies a position of comparable importance to chief of mission or principal officer; is serving as a deputy to the foregoing positions; is assigned to the Office of the Inspector General; or is engaged in labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs of a foreign affairs agency.”
c. Section 1002 (6), 22 USC 4102(6) of the Act defines a confidential employee as “an employee who acts in a confidential capacity with respect to an individual who formulates or effectuates management policies in labor-management relations.” Employees who may have a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest include those who are “engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity” (for example, employees assigned to non-clerical positions within the Global Talent Management Bureau) and “employees engaged in criminal or national security investigations of other employees or who audit the work of individuals to ensure that their functions are discharged honestly and with integrity” (such as employees assigned to DS investigative units or those assigned to the OIG). See Section 1012(1) and (2), 22 USC 4112(1) and (2) of the Foreign Service Act.
As discussed above, the Foreign Service Act precludes these categories of individuals from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board.
The Foreign Service Act also imposes a two-year pre- and post- “cooling-off period” which restricts the movement of Foreign Service employees between certain positions on the AFSA Governing Board and certain Washington-based positions.
Pre-AFSA restrictions: Any individual who has served: 1) in a management position in Washington in which he or she has engaged in labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs; or 2) as a confidential employee to one of these management officials within two years prior to taking office in AFSA, is precluded from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board.
Post-AFSA restrictions: Employees who have participated in collective bargaining while serving on the AFSA Governing Board may not serve: 1) in a management position in Washington that involves labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs; or 2) as a confidential employee to such management positions, for two years after leaving AFSA. Members should consider these restrictions before deciding whether to run for AFSA Governing Board positions covered by these restrictions.
Please direct questions regarding this issue to Sharon Papp, General Counsel, by email: email@example.com. All other election-related queries should be addressed to the Committee on Elections by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the above, due to AFSA efforts to educate Congress on issues related to Foreign Service conditions of employment, legislative proposals and other issues directly impacting the Foreign Service, employees serving in congressional fellowships may not serve on the AFSA Governing Board. A conflict or potential conflict of interest exists between their position in AFSA and their official duties. AFSA members serving as congressional fellows may run for the AFSA Governing Board provided their fellowship ends before the incoming board takes office on July 15, 2023.
Accepting a Nomination
- A nominee can indicate his or her acceptance of a nomination by written response to the Committee on Elections (using the same addresses indicated above under “Nominating Candidates”). Following receipt of nominations, an authorized representative of the Committee on Elections will promptly communicate with each nominee (excluding members who nominate themselves) to confirm their willingness to be a candidate. Nominees must confirm their acceptance in writing (using the same addresses indicated above under “Nominating Candidates”) to the Committee on Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 24, 2023. Any nominee whose written acceptance of nomination is not received by the Committee on Elections by this time will be considered to have declined candidacy.
- All candidates accepting a nomination must identify the position or positions they have filled for the past two years prior to accepting the nomination. All candidates not seeking a full-time AFSA position (President, State VP, USAID VP, FCS VP, FAS VP) must also identify the agency position they will be serving in beginning on July 15, 2021, when the Board takes office. This information is necessary to ensure compliance with section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act.
- Campaign Statements. All candidates will be given the opportunity to submit campaign statements for dissemination to AFSA members with the election ballots. Further information regarding such statements and editorial deadlines will be contained in the “Instructions to Candidates,” which will be posted by the Committee on Elections at www.afsa.org/elections no later than January 15, 2023.
- Supplementary Statements. Should candidates wish to mail supplementary statements to the membership, AFSA will make its membership mailing list or address labels available to the candidate upon request and at their expense. Further information on this and other campaign procedures will be included in the “Instructions to Candidates” mentioned above.
- Other Methods of Communication. Department of Labor requirements prohibit individuals from using government or employer resources (including email accounts) to campaign for AFSA positions.
Ballots will be distributed on or about April 3, 2023, to each regular AFSA member as of March 3, 2023. Candidates or their representatives may observe the ballot distribution process if they so desire. Each member may cast one vote for President, Secretary, Treasurer and, in addition, one vote for a constituency Vice President and each Representative position in the member’s constituency.
Regular members may cast their votes for candidates listed on the official ballot, or by writing in the name(s) of member(s) eligible as of February 15, 2023, or by doing both. To be valid, a ballot must be received by 8:00 a.m. EDT on May 18, 2023, either (i) at the address indicated on the envelope accompanying the ballot or (ii) by online vote. More detailed balloting instructions will accompany the ballots.
Note that the election cycle is one month shorter than in previous years. To reflect modern methods of communication, the cycle has been altered to the shortest possible allowed by AFSA’s bylaws. The actual voting period remains the same, at 45 days.
Vote Counting and Announcement of Results
On or about May 18, 2023, the Committee on Elections will oversee ballot tabulation and declare elected the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each position. Candidates or their representatives may be present during the tally and may challenge the validity of any vote or the eligibility of any voter.
The committee will inform candidates individually of the election results by the swiftest possible means and will publish the names of all elected candidates in the next issue of The Foreign Service Journal. Elected candidates will take office on July 15, 2023, as provided in the bylaws.
The Committee on Elections members and supporting staff members may be reached at email@example.com.
|COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS MEMBERS
|Dao M. Le (FCS, chair)
||Ásgeir Sigfússon, Executive Director
|John Dinkelman (State)
||Sharon Papp, General Counsel
|Mort Dworken (retiree)
|Marcia Friedman (State)
|Erin Nicholson (USAID)